25 APO members hit Mindoro mining during ‘Oblation Run’

PRESS RELEASE

CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro—Twenty-five members of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity ran naked to protest large-scale mining projects in Mindoro on December 15.

The runners, who are members of the Divine Word College of Calapan chapter of APO, chanted “No to Mining!” as they passed through JP Rizal St. during their 30-minute run.

“This is our support for the Mindoreños’ call to stop the Mindoro Nickel Project and the newly-approved Agusan mining where four municipalities are covered,” said Boy Ricaflanca, president of APO Kalap, an alumni association of APO in Calapan City.

“There are other associations of APO in other municipalities like Victoria and Roxas that also conducted ‘Oblation Run’,” added Ricaflanca.

The 25 “Oblation runners” symbolized the 25 year moratorium against large-scale mining in effect on the entire Mindoro island, he said.

Mario R. Ramos, grand chancellor of APO DWCC chapter, said the environmental disaster mining would bring to the province would never spare anyone—students, farmers, fisherfolk, Mangyans and other sectors of Mindoro island.

“We do not have enough resources to fight big mining companies like Intex Resources. But in this simple way, we know that we can urge others to join the call to stop mining in their own way,” Ramos said.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has allowed at least three big mining firms—Pitkin Ltd, Agusan Petroleum and Intex Resources—to conduct mineral explorations in Mindoro.

Last November 27, DENR Secretary Lito Atienza issued a temporary revocation order after 11 days of protest fast by 25 Mindoreños.

Both Oriental and Occidental Mindoro have issued ordinances banning large-scale mining for 25 years.

Contact Person:
Carlos Acoba
Alpha Phi Omega Calapan Chapter
Mobile phone: +639069191835
Email: baloi1230@yahoo.com

Priority sites for marine conservation in the Philippines

In 2002, the Philippine government partnered with the academe and the private sector to convene the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priority-setting Program (PBCPP). The result of the PBCPP represents the national consensus on the priorities and strategies for conserving Philippine biodiversity with the identification of 206 priority conservation areas that covers both terrestrial and marine areas. This map shows the identified marine key biodiversity areas in the country. VIEW THE MAP

Copy of DENR temporary revocation order of Intex ECC

On November 27, Environment Secretary Lito Atienza yielded to pressure and ordered a temporary revocation of the environmental compliance certificate he issued for the Mindoro Nickel Project of the Norway-based Intex Resources.

READ THE SPECIAL ORDER

Mindoreños rejoice over revocation of Intex’s ECC

The Mindoro hunger strikers return to a hero's welcome in the Oriental Mindoro capital of Calapan City. Photos by Ma Nanette Montellano Geronimo

CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro—Local residents warmly welcomed at the Port of Calapan Saturday (November 28) the Mindoro hunger strikers after they camped out for 11 days in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ central office in Quezon City.

From the pier, the group proceeded to the Bishop’s Residence where a press conference was held.

Mangyan Mission coordinator and one of the 25 hunger strikers Fr. Edu Gariguez read the special order signed by Secretary Joselito Atienza which has temporarily revoked the controversial Environmental Compliance Certificate earlier issued in favor of Intex Resources.

Gariquez said the temporary revocation may be considered a significant victory for everyone on Mindoro Island.

The DENR Special Order (No. 2009-921) dated November 27, 2009 said all allegations and issues against the controversial nickel mining project of the Norway-based Intex Resources will be subjected to a formal inquiry.

The same order calls for the creation of an investigating team to be composed of independent experts nominated by the provincial governments of Oriental and occidental Mindoro and the DENR. Civil society and indigenous peoples based in the two provinces will be represented in the committee.

The streamer says it all. Photo by Ma Nanette Montellano Geronimo

Mangyan leader Badang Isidro expressed her personal and her group’s thanks to Frs. Jimson Ruga, Calapan Social Action Center director, and Edu Gariguez for their dedication and commitment to their cause.

“Ang elemento ng grasya ng Diyos at ng hindi matatawarang suportang ibinigay ni Bishop Broderick Pabillo ang naging malaking dahilan para hindi ako mawalan ng pag-asa at magpatuloy pa sa kabila ng panghihina ng katawan,” Gariquez was quoted as saying.

He said their struggle at the DENR Central Office turned into success with the whole-hearted support of the Church and Manila-based non-government organizations as well as foreign organizations.

“Minsan pang napatunayan na tayo’y may magagawa kung tayo’y sama-sama at nananalig sa Diyos,” he concluded. (Fely Sevilla)

Source: CBCP News

Environment chief temporarily revokes Mindoro mining clearance

Mindoro hunger strikers and their supporters, including comedienne Juana Change (extreme right), pose for a souvenir photo following the announcement of revocation of the mining clearance of Intex Resources nickel project in Mindoro. Photo by Roslyn Arayata

PRESS RELEASE

Environment Secretary Lito Atienza on Friday (November 27) yielded to pressure and ordered a temporary revocation of the mining clearance he issued for the Mindoro nickel project of the Norway-based Intex Resources.

The chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) personally handed to the hunger strikers camped outside his office the special order he issued on the 11th day of protest fast staged by Mangyans, priests and environmental activists from Mindoro.

In his order, Atienza said that the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) released on October 14 “is hereby temporarily revoked pending completion of a thorough and impartial investigation that will validate all the allegations.”

The hunger strikers–who are members of the Alyansa Laban sa Mina (Alamin, Alliance Against Mining) and backed by civil society groups, Catholic church and local governments of Mindoro–demanded the immediate revocation of the ECC, citing its adverse impacts on the environment, food security and the ancestral domain claim of the Mangyans.

Atienza also directed the formation of a team of experts that will look into the issues raised by the Mindorenos.

Secretary Joselito Atienza shows the official order of temporary revocation of ECC as Victoria Vice Mayor Luis Castillet, Catholic Bishop Broderick Pabillo and other members of the clergy applaud. Photo by Roslyn Arayata

The investigation team will be composed of independent experts to be chosen by the provincial governments of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro and the DENR, said Atienza in his order.

“The investigation team shall also include representatives from civil society organizations and indigenous people’s federation based in Oriental and Occidental Mindoro,” he said.

Atienza said the team has to submit its report and conclusion 15 days after the “completion of the assigned task.”

“The report and conclusion of the investigation team shall be the basis in resolving the issues surrounding the ECC,” he said.

The temporary revocation order was a result of a compromise agreement reached during a closed-door meeting Thursday (November 26) between Atienza and representatives of Alamin—Fr. Edwin Gariguez and Alangan Mangyan leader Librada Isidro—at the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo joined the negotiations.

The hunger strikers ended their protest Friday afternoon following a concelebrated thanksgiving mass officiated by Bishop Pabillo and other members of the clergy at the protest site.

For more information:

Fr. Edwin A. Gariguez, ALAMIN, (0919) 8005595, edugariguez@gmail.com, http://earthjedi.blogspot.com/
Jonjon Sarmiento, ALAMIN (0926) 230.32.05
Jaybee Garganera, ATM Coordinator, (0915) 315.37.19
Roslyn Arayata, ATM Policy Officer (0917) 521.7937

Groups vow more actions against Atienza; declare to take anti-mining battle to Manila

The Mindorenos, already feeling hungry and weak on their 10th day of protest, vow to continue with their hunger strike to press the Arroyo administration to cancel an 'illegally issued' mining clearance to Intex Resources. Photo by Raymond Panaligan

PRESS RELEASE

An alliance backed by more than 80 organizations vowed more actions against Atienza today, accusing him of callousness in resolving the demands of hunger strikes camped at the DENR central office. “We will mobilize people here in front of DENR and deliver to Atienza a clear message – he should clean up this mess he created in Mindoro or else face consequences in his candidacy in Manila”, said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of the group Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM).

ATM is backing the hunger strike of Mindorenos who are demanding the cancellation of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of Intex Resources, Philippines, a Norwegian mining company set to operate in the provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro. The group entered its 11th day of their hunger strike.
“While the hunger strikers go weaker everyday, we will lend our strength to them by coming out here in front of DENR in numbers” declared Garganera. He also said that they are preparing several support groups to join the hunger strikers in holding solidarity fasting, in the camp itself and in strategic locations in Manila City, to put more pressure on Atienza to act decisively on this issue.

The group also threatened to bring their struggle to Manila, as they are sure that Atienza is set to resign as DENR secretary and file his certificate of candidacy to run for Mayor of Manila by Saturday. “If Mr. Atienza feels that this nightmare will disappear after he leaves DENR, he is sadly mistaken. We will take this opportunity to tell students, workers, teachers, urban poor, drivers and even vendors in Manila, what a callous, heartless and dishonest person he is”, continued Garganera. He rebuked Atienza for raising the bogey that the hunger strike is a political ploy against him, saying that the legitimacy of the Mindorenos’ protest is completely documented.

The threat comes in the heel of swelling support to the hunger strikers, the latest coming from Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Archdiocese of Manila. Bp. Pabillo issued a strongly-worded open letter last Nov. 24, 2009, appealing that Atienza revoke the ECC because of the flawed process it underwent. Yesterday, more than fifty indigenous peoples from the tribes of Aetas, Ifugaos, Dumagats, Remontados and Agtas visited the hunger strikers and expressed their solidarity. The IPs came from provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Zambales, and Quezon.

Supporters of the hunger strike admit that they are getting more worried every day with the worsening physical condition of the hunger strikers, who all come from the local group, Alyansa Laban sa Mina ng Mindoro (ALAMIN). The group was established in 1999 to consolidate opposition to the Mindoro Nickel Project. The alliance has conducted numerous local and national mobilizations and International campaigns were also done in Europe.

The group in hunger strike, together with the local government officials of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Catholic Church leaders, civil society organizations and individuals from the communities affected by the project, reiterated their call for the immediate revocation of the ECC of INTEX and demanding the DENR to respect the LGUs’ mining moratorium in their respective provinces.

The Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), an advocacy group and a people’s movement that upholds the rights of the present and future Filipinos against the persisting injustices related to mining. ATM is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations convened by HARIBON, Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center – Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRC/FOEI) and PhilDHRRA. —(30)

For more information:

Jaybee Garganera, ATM Coordinator, (0915) 315.37.19
Roslyn Arayata, ATM Policy Officer (0917) 521.7937

ON LINE Petition in support of the Mindoro Hunger Strike is on the web. Please manifest your support by signing up to the link below:

http://petitions.contact.ie/content/support-hunger-strike-against-intex-resources-mining-project

Open letter of tribal leader on hunger strike vs Mindoro mining to President Arroyo

Photograph of the original letter written in Hanunuo Mangyan dialect and script.

(Mangyan)

Mahal nimi Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,

Kawo Kanmi Pangulo sa buong Pilipinas. Atay kami kainda sa harapan opisina ni Secretary Lito Atienza bilang pinuno sa DENR. Kami tay nguna ay tanan yi magkalun-os ag magkagasa yi.

Kanmi kabuhayan ay madaot, kanmi sagradong lugay ay madaot din, kami ay mapapalayas ginan sa kanmi daga, ag ti kalikasan ay madaot. Adok mga buhi ti mamatay no ituloy ti planong pag mina, sa sulod daga ginurang. Buo kanmi paghadlang sa daka pagmimina.

Kanmi paghagadon sa kanmo bilang pinakaabwat lider sa Pilipinas ay bul-on yi kay bisa ti ECC na ipinahintulot sa Intex Resources.

Ti mag hagad mga mangyan sa Silangang Mindoro.

Pirmado ti may surat,

Ponyon Kadlos
Tagapag-ugnay ng Kapulungan Para sa Lupaing Ninuno (KPLN)

(Filipino)

Mahal naming Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,

Kayo ang aming pangulo sa buong Pilippinas. Nandito kami ngayon sa harapan ng opisina ni Secretary Lito Atienza bilang pinuno sa DENR.

Kami ngayon ay lahat-lahat nagugutom at nanghihina na.

Ang aming kabuhayan ay mawawasak. Masisira ang aming pinahahalagahang sagradong lugar, kami ay mapapalayas sa aming lupain at ang kalikasan ay lubos na masira. Maraming mga buhay ang mamatay dahil sa napipintong planong pagmimina sa loob ng aming lupaing ninuno. Lubos naming tinutulan ang malawakang pagmimina.

Hinihingi namin sa iyo bilang pinakamataas na lider sa Pilipinas na ipawalang bisa na ang iginawad na ECC sa Intex Reources.

Ang humihingi ay mga katutubong Mangyan sa Silangang Mindoro.

Ang sumulat at lumagda,

Ponyong Kadlos
Tagapag-ugnay ng Kapulungan Para sa Lupaing Ninuno (KPLN)

(English)

Our beloved President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,

You are our president, the chief executive of the entire nation. We are here in front of the office of the head of the DENR Secretary Lito Atienza. We are hungry and weak.

Our “whole life” is at risk. Our sacred grounds will be ruined, we will be displaced from our land and the environment will be devastated. Lives are at risk because of the proposed mining within our ancestral domain. We strongly oppose large-scale mining.

As the highest leader of the Philippines, we ask you to revoke the ECC issued to Intex Resources,

We ask this on behalf of the Mangyans at Oriental Mindoro.

Written and signed by,

Ponyong Kadlos
Coordinator, Kapulungan Para sa Lupaing Ninuno (KPLN)

Manila, Philippines - Mangyan tribal leader, Ponyong Kadlos, on hunger strike against mining writes an open letter addressed to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The letter is written in Hanuno Mangyan script, known endangered script in the Philippines. The letter presents the strong opposition of the Mangyans on the Mindoro Nickel Project owned by Norwegian mining company Intex Resources. November 23,2009. Photo by Roslyn Arayata, Policy Officer, Alyansa Tigil Mina

Manila, Philippines - Mangyan tribal leader, Ponyong Kadlos, on hunger strike against mining shows his open letter addressed to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The letter is written in Hanuno Mangyan script, known endangered script in the Philippines. The letter presents the strong opposition of the Mangyans on the Mindoro Nickel Project owned by Norwegian mining company Intex Resources. Photo by Roslyn Arayata, Policy Officer, Alyansa Tigil Mina